Top Ten Humanitarian Crises of 2009 from Doctors without Borders

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Thanks to our partners The Progressive Book Club for this report.

Doctors Without Borders this week released its annual list of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Here’s the top ten list. For more detail, see here. An excellent related book, focusing on famine and the failures of the western aid system, is Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, available at PBC.

1. Unrelenting Violence Stalks Civilians Throughout Eastern DR Congo

2. Somalis Endure Violence and Lack of Access to Health Care

3. Precarious Situation for People in Southern Sudan and Darfur

4. Thousands Injured during the Final Stage of Sri Lanka’s Decades-long War

5. Civilians Suffer From Violence & Neglect in Pakistan

6. Politics of Aid Leaves many Afghans Cut off from Humanitarian Assistance

7. Civilians Trapped in Violent War in Northern Yemen

8. Woefully Inadequate Funding Undermines Gains in Childhood Malnutrition Treatment

9. Funding for AIDS Treatment Stagnating Despite Millions Still in Need

10. Lack of R&D and Scale Up of Treatment Plagues Patients with Neglected Diseases

Futureatlas via Flickr/Creative Commons
by Julian Brooks for the Progressive Book Club


Zoi Ioz
Zoi Ioz8 years ago

I have a hard time balancing awareness and despair.

Kathleen R.
Katz R8 years ago

these people are great! however repeatedly their hands are tied by governments an garbage

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog8 years ago

I do believe that it is not up to just one country to help all other countries out, but every single individual on this planet should be concerned about people suffering in other countries. Also, this list is actually pretty tiny - in fact, so many Asian countries that are suffering from poverty and abused human rights, such as India and Vietnam, weren't even mentioned. Unfortunately we cannot rely on our governments to help, but we can support all non-profit organisations that are trying to make a difference.

Hein B.
Past Member 8 years ago

Comment on Wini A.
Yess, it is not a question of "Not doing enough" but it is a matter of giving the attention to the right thing. The western society, knowing nothing about the mechanisms of collective consciousness always starts with providing weapons or medical help or food. And we see that is not enough. we start trying to build a democratic society in the conflict area. NO ATTENTION AT ALL IS GIVEN TO THE COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS, which is the basis on which a society is functioning. These days we know from knowledge of the East, what are the mechanisms of collective consciousness and about 30 times already it has been proven to work: I am talking here about the TM-Sidhi program from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. ONLY A FEW PEOPLE (eg. 200 in a group of 4 million) need to do "the trick" and peace, a better economical atmosphere, thrust, less accidents, hospital admissions, etc starts to emerge. NO GOVERNMENT NEED TO BE INVOLVED. We, the people, are able to do it, just by ourselves. And the government will start to do what is good for the people. Read my petition:

I am not asking for a peace attitude, or thinking of peace or hoping for peace or even meditating on peace. It is something, but it is by far not enough. There is neither historic evidence nor scientific evidence that this will work. There is however both historic evidence and scientific evidence that the TM-Sidhi program has the desired effect.

Lynne Nofziger
Lynne N8 years ago

We have so many problems in our country. I am definitely not against helping others, but we need to unite and become a strong, healthy and stable "family in our own "home" before we go visiting the neighbors. As we suffer from weakness, we become vulnerable.

Catherine Turley
Catherine Turley8 years ago

education empowers people to fight for their own rights and change the welfare of their country. i can't think of any better non-profit than the central asia institute. the founder, greg mortenson, started building schools for girls in afghanistan. he has a book called 'three cups of tea'. give where it counts.

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p8 years ago

the money doesn`t alwas go to the needy. there are so many pockets to fill,along the way.

Mervi R.
Mervi R8 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Hein B.
Past Member 8 years ago

Dear Reader and/or commenter,

The only way to get a stable and lasting peace is to install a group of about 1000 TM-Sidhi practitioners in Sudan or in one of the surrounding countries in conflict.(same applies to Yemen or Somalia of course!)ONLY THEN a lasting peace is guaranteed. By performing their program they eliminate the stress from the collective consciousness and bring fighting parties to a hold. This method has been used many times in the past 25 years, why don't use it now?
Why you never heard of this method? It is because it is revolutionary, no arms are involved, no army is needed, no weapons have to be bought. It is the peace which is created within in each member meditating which spreads around. With proven effect: see eg. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 32, 776–812. International peace project in the Middle East: The effects of the MTUF. Orme-Johnson, D.W., Alexander, C.N., Davies, J.L., Chandler, H.M., & Larimore, W.E. (1988) and look at:
Only then it will become safe for humanitarian programs in Darfur, North and East Sudan and will the delivery of lifesaving aid to vulnerable men, women and children in Sudan be ensured, the lives of its citizens be preserved and the safety of humanitarian workers be guaranteed.
Stress from the collective consciousness will be removed and the government of Sudan will start to open up for advice and help from the UN.
Thank you very much,

Celene Chen
Celene Chen8 years ago

When looking at the poll, one can tell that people believe that Americans are not doing enough for important causes such as the ones listed before. However, these same people are taking a poll about how much people do for tragedies and not donating or helping?